"I'm half tempted to give a discount on repairs sometimes just to have something to do."
Lenora asks, "I guess trying to make something interesting happen here, like a workshop or shooting range or art club, is a no-go?"
"Not very peaceful-welsh-cabin-like, those things. But enough griping from me. Have fun in the cold sky, you lot."
The mechanic ambles off. The locomotive sets off again soon, with a slightly different set of cargo aboard.
They stop at two more places, Kensingtonville and New Devonshire, the following two days. They're basically just farming towns surrounded by a vague halo of homesteads on the same floating landmass, without even as much character as Port Avon. No bucolic orchards or grand ruins. Just farms and a small, unremarkable town each. They pick up food and lumber and drop off tools, stained glass, clothes, tea. Thorn gets to act as driver under the Captain's supervision for a bit, then as navigator's assistant. She also gets to help replace a section of pipe that one of the other stokers judges a bit too rusty.
Lenora manages to spend some time with Thorn, chats about their experiences flying and what she thinks of this crew, is happy to hear all about how 'proper' singing actually works and what she's practicing, laments that the beds in their cabins aren't really suited for fraternization and they can't really even talk about things that need to be talked about really privately.
After that, the verdancy of their surroundings ramps up, up, up, as they head towards the Leadbeater & Stainrod Nature Reserve. They'll be flying for three days straight this time - they're out of the region that's relatively well-populated. The lookouts are told not to mind the bees, they only attack if you have Chorister Honey, but keep a close watch for Scrive-Spinsters.